It’s actually pretty sad to write about weaning, as Grady is pretty close to being self-weaned due to my pregnancy, and I find it difficult to adjust to our changed relationship. He’s doing great though, and I’m finding comfort in knowing that this is on his terms, although I do sometimes feel guilty when I begin to think about what nursing would be like now if I hadn’t gotten pregnant. Would he still be nursing? I try to push those thoughts aside, because they don’t help and there’s nothing I can do to change how things are now.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading on nursing during pregnancy and tandem nursing, and this book, Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond, that I borrowed from my local La Leche League group, has been great. The reason I borrowed the book, was that my plan was to nurse Grady through my pregnancy and then tandem nurse with him and the new baby. It’s funny how things don’t always go as planned! You really have no control over your milk supply when you are pregnant and nothing will change that. My supply decreased significantly around my 16th week of pregnancy when Grady was about 18 months old. This is a common occurence, as one study reported that 70 percent of mothers noted a decrease in milk supply by mid-pregnancy. I knew before I got pregnant that it would happen, but it was still devastating when it did. I immediately noticed a change in his sucking patterns. No more swallowing. He didn’t seem to care though and continued to nurse just as frequently as he was.
Right around the same time, he night-weaned all by himself. I definitely contribute this to the fact that there just wasn’t much milk left. Why get up at night when there’s nothing to snack on? It’s actually been quite enjoyable to be able to get a full nights sleep again! Over the next 2 months, he’s gradually brought himself down to nursing just briefly before his nap and before bedtime. And when I say briefly, it’s like 5 seconds. I’m not sure why I continue to let him do this. I think I’m holding out hope that colostrum will return in my 3rd trimester and he’ll want to nurse more again, thus fulfilling my plan to tandem nurse come June.
So that’s where we are right now. I’m just letting him decide when and how long he nurses. If he decides tomorrow that he doesn’t want it anymore, than that will be okay.
Did you nurse while pregnant? How did it go? I’d love to hear your experiences!